2008. Vertov from Z to A

review of

Vertov from Z to A

by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - March 22, 2008



Hallelujah! I contributed something to this bk in November of 2003 & I just got my copies of it March 17, 2008 - coincidentally on the same day that I got copies of my new record ("Mechanically Repetitive / ReRecorded Records RECORD")! It look like the most ambitious production from Ediciones La Calavera yet.

I predicted I'd finish reading this by March 22 & I did. Editors & initiators Peggy Ahwesh & Keith Sanborn sent out a digital still of a frame enlargement from Dziga Vertov's 1929 film "Man With A Movie Camera" way back in September, 2003, & asked the recipients to respond to it. Given that that particular film is in my top 10 favorite films (maybe even, dare I commit to this?, a contender for the #1 position?), I was thrilled to be a participant. In fact, now that the bk's out, I think I'll post a simple version of my piece for it on my GoodReads author's profile page. It's called "diSTILLed Life" (it's here: https://www.goodreads.com/story/show/13193-distilled-life ).

I think that using this particular still was a cunningly chosen stimulus for basing a whole bk around. Not only is it from an amazing film, it's a still that resonates w/ all sorts of implications for the future of 1929's culture - esp in the revolutionary Soviet Union (at that time still very promising). The responses are varied & entirely of interest to me. One was even written by someone who'd never seen the film.

The participants were: Ahwesh & Sanborn; Abu Ali; Bruce Andrews; Yann Beauvais; Ericka Beckman; 'Walter Benjamin' (whose quote is introduced by a post-mortem simulation of a reply to the call-out email); Diane Bertolo; Franßois Bucher; Edwin Carels; Abigail Child; Ludovic Cortade; Brian Frye; Joy Garnett; Marina Grzinic; Michelle Handelman; Peter Hitchcock; Robert Kelly; Marina de Bellagente LaPalma; David Larcher; Barbara Lattanzi; Les LeVeque; David Levi Strauss; Jeanne Liotta; Laura U. Marks; Julie Murray; Kristin Prevallet; Cathy Nan Quinlin; Melissa Ragona; John David Rhodes; Jason Simon; John Smith; Michael Smith; Alan Sondheim; Caspar Stracke; tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE; Beatris van Agt; Mercedes Vincent; William C. Wees; Peter Lamborn Wilson; Ghen Zando-Dennis; & Thomas Zummer.

The bk's nicely produced - w/ several color illustrations & few typos. There're plenty of intellectual analysises & plenty of more fictive spin-offs. There're illustrations & lists. The very focus of this bk is like passing a camel thru the eye of a needle. Once it's thru to the other side, one learns whether the magician got the camel thru whole or whether they made the needle's eye unusually large or whether they passed the needle thru the camel instead. This compilation is truly one of the most inspired ways of appraising the hopes & promises of culture as a vehicle for enthusiastic change that I know of. I wonder what a sequel to this wd be like if a very different frame enlargement were used?





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